Taste testing in Thai cooking is always important, but it's especially crucial in this dish. In order to achieve the best satay taste, the key here is to make the marinade predominantly salty and sweet. As long as these two flavors are at the forefront, your satay will be delicious.
1 package bamboo skewers
8 to 10 skinless, boneless chicken thighs Real Peanut Sauce
2 stalks lemongrass
, minced or 1/2 cup frozen prepared lemongrass
1 shallot, diced
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon grated galangal or 1 tablespoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons cumin
3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
4 tablespoons fish sauce
5 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
To prevent wooden skewers from burning on the grill, soak them in water while you prepare the meat. The kitchen sink works well for this -- just put in the plug and fill with an inch of water, then dunk in the satay sticks.
Cut the chicken into thin strips or pieces, preferably 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide. For satay, the thinner the meat is sliced, the more tender it turns out; however, you also want it wide enough that it doesn't fall off the stick.
Place all marinade ingredients in a food processor and blitz to create a thick marinade of paste-like consistency.
Taste test the marinade. Note that it needs to taste predominantly salty and sweet. If necessary, add more sugar or more fish sauce (instead of salt) to ensure these two flavors are more pronounced than the spicy and sour tones.
Place chicken strips in a bowl and add the marinade, mixing well to coat. Marinate for at least 1 hour, or up to 24 hours.
Weave the strips of marinated chicken onto the skewers. Note: As you skewer the meat, you may notice what appear to be short pieces of hair -- this is simply the lemongrass fiber, and is healthy to eat.
Grill the satay 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the meat and the heat of your grill. As you turn the sticks the first time, brush with the leftover marinade.
Serve with rice and the suggested peanut sauce on the side, and enjoy.